Calderon de la Barca, Don Pedro. Born in 1600. Spanish dramatist, educated at the Jesuit College at Madrid and the University of Salamanca. His mind early assumed a religious cast, first shown in the drama "La Devocion de la Cruz," written at the age of 18. While serving against the Milanese in the Low Countries, he wrote the "Siege of Breda," and on the death of Lope de Vega in 1635, became the leading poet in Spain. In 1651 he took holy orders, and thenceforward wrote little else than sacred dramas, or "autos." Died 1681.